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Trump says, "Despite impeachment, the farmers are sticking with Trump"
AUSTIN, Texas -- President Donald Trump had a simple message to farmers gathered in Austin, Texas for an annual farming convention: I did it; you’re welcome.
“They were all saying you’ll never get a deal done with China,” Trump told the audience at the American Farm Bureau’s annual convention, his third year speaking at the event. “I’ve told everyone you’ve got to buy a lot of land and we’ve got to get much bigger tractors right now. We’re going to sell the greatest product you’ve ever seen.”
On the heels of announcing new trade agreements last week that White House says will bring billions of dollars to U.S. farmers and the agriculture industry, President Trump told a supportive agriculture industry crowd that they stand to benefit the most.
Congress on Thursday approved a revised North American Free Trade Agreement known as the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement—a day after the U.S. House of Representatives sent articles of impeachment of President Trump to the Senate—which Trump is expected to sign this week.
The White House also announced phase one of a trade deal with China last week that it estimates will bring as much as $80 billion in purchases over the next two years.
“Under this landmark agreement, China will be purchasing $40 billion to $50 billion of American agricultural products every single year, tripling our agricultural exports to China,” Trump said while holding a printed-out article from The Wall Street Journal that cited his approval rating among farmers at 83%. “Most of all the deal is enforceable, very very powerfully enforceable. Rest assured, we will enforce its terms.”
Trump said farmers stood by him even as tariffs and the trade war with China made people, including the media, question the strategy his administration he pursued.
Part of the result has been that net farm income has increased by $30 billion in the past three years, Trump said. That amount does include billions in Market Facilitation program payments, which Trump noted he was able to get for farmers who suffered from the trade war.
“China respects us now,” Trump said. “Having a good relationship with China is good, and Russia is good, and many other countries, is a good thing. We don’t want other people taking advantage of us.”
Trump also celebrated other recent deals made with Japan on agricultural products, Brazil for wheat and ethanol, the European Union for beef exports, and other countries. He cited another victory by ensuring that oil refiners must add a minimum of 15 billion gallons of ethanol and other biofuels to the U.S. gasoline and diesel supply.
He also noted that he “virtually eliminated the deeply unfair” estate tax. Trump arguably received the most applause when he reminded the crowd of his administration’s work to rewrite the Waters of the United States rule.
“That was a rule that basically took your property away from you,” Trump said to one of numerous standing ovations.
The president did also step outside of farming-focused subjects. He said there are plans in the works to support $20 billion for bringing broadband to rural areas.
He noted that the border wall with Mexico is more than 100 miles long and should reach 400 miles by the end of the year. He touched on impeachment.
“We’re achieving what no administration has achieved before,” Trump said. “And what do I get out of it? I get impeached. That’s what I get out of it. By these radical left lunatics, I get impeached. That’s OK, the farmers are sticking by me.”
Story written by David Holley, a freelance writer for Agriculture.com